Co-mapping on Country

Co-map­ping on Coun­try, led by Kim Mahood, involves cre­at­ing large mul­ti-pur­pose can­vas maps with Tra­di­tion­al Own­ers to facil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion, engage­ment, dis­cus­sion and deci­sion mak­ing. The project, fund­ed by Coop­er­a­tive Research Cen­tre for Devel­op­ing North­ern Aus­tralia (CRC­NA), is based on the con­cept that maps act as excel­lent bound­ary objects’ for help­ing nego­ti­ate the spaces between dif­fer­ent cul­tures and knowl­edges. They are tan­gi­ble items with sig­nif­i­cance for both Abo­rig­i­nal and non-Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple that facil­i­tate dis­cus­sion, plan­ning and deci­sion-mak­ing in com­plex envi­ron­ments. Maps are known to be val­ued by Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander peo­ples for a range of rea­sons and devel­op­ing a two-way map becomes an effec­tive engage­ment tool with land at the centre.

The co-map­ping process and the viable maps are mul­ti-pur­pose but for this project, will pro­vide the right foun­da­tion required for suc­cess­ful plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion of com­mer­cial devel­op­ment on Abo­rig­i­nal land and enable that infor­ma­tion to then be used to plan devel­op­ment activ­i­ty that fits with aspi­ra­tions and expec­ta­tions of all stake­hold­ers. These method­olo­gies will be utilised on the six com­mer­cial tri­al projects devel­oped by ALE­DA and lat­er to pop­u­late the ALE­DA Land and Oppor­tu­ni­ties Prospec­tus (LOP) with com­mer­cial projects. The co-map­ping aims to over­come obsta­cles (e.g. engage­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and under­stand­ing) by devel­op­ing a process, frame­work and toolk­it. This will enhance stake­hold­er capac­i­ty to remain engaged, plan, imple­ment and make deci­sions regard­ing their assets and future com­mer­cial development. 

This EDS posi­tions Indige­nous land­hold­ers to facil­i­tate devel­op­ments that max­imise local ben­e­fits by using a two-way knowl­edge approach to com­mu­ni­ca­tion and plan­ning. The EDS uses exist­ing Abo­rig­i­nal/non-Abo­rig­i­nal co-map­ping method­ol­o­gy, extend­ing this for the first time to use in Indige­nous-led com­mer­cial devel­op­ment plan­ning on Abo­rig­i­nal land. Two-way map­ping will form the basis of the inte­grat­ed report­ing com­po­nent of the knowl­edge man­age­ment sys­tem and may become part of a two-way’ gov­er­nance cur­ricu­lum in the future.